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Gober Post Frame

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Stuff I Know

 

 

 

 

 

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry

Mount Rushmore 

 

 

I have heard this saying many times in my life , and I am sure that it has been true many to often times. But , I was told one time what Elvis Presleys motto was and have tried to incorporate it into times that have been difficult. And it is simple as this.
Shine Your Shoes , Comb Your Hair , and Have Confidence
 
Now youmight be thinking to yourself why I would have a page like this on a post frame web site. Well I'll tell you . I am going to provide you with some things that I know about the building industry and things that can go right and things that can go wrong .
The picture at the top of the page represents a great feat that has become a world wide object of great admiration and awe.
While attaining this great feat they had many adversities. Rain , snow, heat , wind , equipment breakdowns , engineering feats , and many more great obsticles that could have broken the will of the sculptor. But they kept working through them all until the finished  product we know today as Mount Rushmore.
I am going to discuss what unseen things could happen during the process of constructing a Post Frame Building and some of the things we can do to try and make it as smooth a process as we possibly can.

    The very first thing I must know is that I don't know everything. But the things that I do know I will try to convey to you on this page.

 

  The very first thing I would like to discuss is weather and it's effect on getting your project on its way to completion.

I do not and cannot control mother nature , for if I could there would be no need of me being in the post frame business for I'm sure I would never have need of money

again.

 
The weather is a major factor in any oustside constuction job .

   First , perhaps it is the day when the you are supposed to start moving dirt and getting your building pad ready. The weather man said it is going to be sunny and dry . You wake up the next morning and it has rained . The excavation contractor is calling, telling you that the ground is to wet and he cannot work until the ground dries out. First problem, this does not always happen ,but it does. However many days it takes to dry out , you are now that many days behind on your project. You had planned well, you had your place in line with the contractor but mother nature just said not today. Weather brings more construction sites to a halt than any other factor.

Everybody wants their project up and running but sometimes it is just impossible and we must all take a lesson in patience.

The first step in securing a good job is preparation!

The building pad is a main component in the building project. What if the site is out of level, what if it is in a low place that might allow exess water drainage to run inside your building. This is a very important step to insure that your building will be useful for decades to come.

•    The second step is having a firm foundation.

 

Post frame buildings use treated wood posts as their foundation. These are usually 5x5 , 6x6, or laminated square post. Which ever are used in your building make sure they are treated. 

Usually a 3' deep hole is dug and the post is placed in it. Once the post is in the ground the area of the hole not filled by the post needs to have some sort of fill. If you have ever seen a telephone pole that has been removed from the hole , you will notice that the end of the pole is much darker than the rest. when the post is placed in the ground it is full of chemical that has been added for preservation of the wood and the post will still have some moisture from this process.   

When the post is stood on its end the excess moisture in the post does what any liqiud would do and run to the bottom of the post.

 

There are many ways to fill in the area around the post, but I have found that whatever the fill is , it needs to be a material that allows the post to breath properly.

Some companies use concrete for the strength it provides.

Some companies backfill it with crushed limestone.

And then there are those of us that backfill with the same soil that came out of the hole to begin with. (this is my prefered method).

 

  • Crushed limestone sets up a chemical reaction with the post and starts to promote decay and defeats the preservatives purpose causing it to fail after a period of time. 

  • Concrete encases the moisture in the post and the post cannot breath or drain properly . Thus promoting dry rot.

•    If you will notice this picture , it is a classic case of a post that has been encased in concrete and over a period of a few years has caused the post to decay almost completely through and caused severe damage to the structural integrity of the building. Do not let anyone tell you this cannot happen to you. Anytime you encase a treated post in concrete or by any other method this will happen ! 

After having treated cca. post in the ground since 1977, I am convinced that backfilling a post with dirt is the only method that will ensure longevity of the treated post.